Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Let the listener guess what happened

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 29, 2004, 0:51
John Cowan wrote at 2004-12-28 17:24:50 (-0500)
 > Gary Shannon scripsit:

 > > I ran across some notes from several years ago about an idea for
 > > a language where the participants in the drama are enumerated,
 > > but the actual action is left for the reader/listener to infer.
 > > For example:
 > >
 > > John the thrower; Fred the catcher; and the ball.
 > >
 > > "John threw the ball to Fred" does not specify whether Fred
 > > succeeded in catching the ball or not. However the construction
 > > "John the thrower; Fred the catcher; and the ball." sort of
 > > implies that Fred actually caught the ball.
 > Tom O'Breton's AllNoun works like this.  There are a lot of broken
 > links to it, but
 > seems to be current.

It also reminds me of Paonese, from Jack Vance's _The Languages of

 | The Panarch, making the statement, 'There are two matters I wish to
 | discuss with you,' used words which, accurately rendered, would
 | read: '_Statement-of-importance_ (a single word in Paonese) - _in a
 | state of readiness_ - two; ear - of Mercantil - _in a state of
 | readiness_; mouth - of this person here - _in a state of
 | volition_.'  The italicized words represent suffixes of condition.
 | The necessary paraphrasing makes the way of speaking seem
 | cumbersome.  But the Paonese sentence, '_Rhomel-en-shrai
 | bogal-Mercantil-nli-en mous-es-nli-ro_' requires only three more
 | phonemes than, 'There are two matters I wish to discuss with you.'

 | 'You have not grasped the essential point,' said Palafox.  'Paonese
 | is a passive, dispassionate language.  It presents the world in two
 | dimensions, without tension or contrast.  A people speaking
 | Paonese, theoretically, ought to be docile, passive, without strong
 | personality development - in fact, exactly as the Paonese people
 | are.' ... 'To illustrate, consider the sentence, "The farmer chops
 | down a tree".'  (Literally rendered from the Paonese in which the
 | two men spoke, the sentence was: 'Farmer _in state of exertion_;
 | axe _agency_ ; tree _in state of subjection to attack_.') ...